Smarter Driver: Which self-braking and forward-collision tech is rated highest?
In everyday driving, nothing is more fundamental to avoiding a collision than stopping before you have one.
But too often, humans are, well, human, and don't brake in time or at all.
That's where forward collision avoidance technology comes in and ideally appears in cars we really buy, not just as a pricy option on pricy ones.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has been watching forward collision technology come down to Earth in three flavors.
There's the warning.>> Warning you of a forward collision.
Pre-charging the breaks before a collision to increase their effectiveness when you do get on them.
If it detects a high risk of intact, the system will prime the brakes to help you stop more quickly.
And automatic braking so the car will pull itself partially or fully to a stop, even if you drop the ball.
And there's the auto-brake.
The vehicle stops by itself.
Just two years ago, nearly three quarters of new cars didn't offer any kind of forward collision tech.
Just two model years later, the number lacking it is down to half, though.
Just 4% of models offer it standard.
Of a variety of cars that offer this tech ten models from Acura, BMW, Mazda, and Chrysler earned a superior rating with five or six out of six points.
A separate study by the Highway Loss Data Institute found that two models of Volvo's from 2010 to 2012 with automatic breaking has insurance claim rates that were 15% to 16% lower.
And the latest Volvo's offer the first automatic breaking that will intervene if you're about to make a very ill advised left turn against traffic.
[SOUND] It pays to double check if your next car offers forward collision sensors.
What if any degree of self-braking could include?
And how well the whole system is rated to actually work.
It's a fundamental feature that could pay for itself pretty easily the first time you don't rear-end someone.
More realities of modern driving revealed now at CNETOnCars.com.
Click on Smarter Driver.
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